Friday, September 29, 2006

Just Like Honey.

I was happy to see Holland Cotter's review in the Times today of one of my favorite shows in the city right now, Guillermina Baiguera and Julian Gatto's taza taza at Little Cakes. Cotter nails it. Money quote: "Everything, old and new, seems intimately connected in this sweet-spirited show in one of the city's more distinctive galleries." Yeah. This is how we like it here at the Heart.

The best news to come out of this is the real reason for this post though. The gallery has extended the run of the show through October 7 so there'll be no excuses if you miss it unless you're out of town or having a baby or writing me checks or something. Seriously. I can't recommend this little corner of wonder highly enough. Go.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Love Train.

Angela Dufresne at The Hammer

I have a new post up on Fallon & Rosof's Artblog. Much to my dismay I didn't make it down to Philly at all this summer, but the Philly art scene came to visit me no matter where I went.

On a related note, Roberta did an excellent feature on the city for the September issue of Art News. Go buy it now. It kicks ass, as does Philly. Don't be slow. Get. On. The. Train.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Somebody Save Me.

Let's start with a qualifier. Everything I'm about to say doesn't apply to the galleries on 27th Street between 10th and 11th. I visited there a couple weeks ago and it's a pretty thrilling block this month. Excellent shows at Winkleman Plus Ultra, John Connelly, Foxy Production, and Derek Keller. There's plenty of fun to be had in other galleries on that block as well.

Outside of that block though . . . ouch. Saturday was one of the most disheartening days I've spent in Chelsea in a long, long time. Even the freskers seemed bored and more aloof than usual. There were a couple shows and moments that turned my crank, but overall? Nothing but pain.

Some of the crank turners:

Karen Kliminik confounded me at 303, and I liked it. Work that pushes me this far into the, um, unsure is doing something right. Even if I don't know what the hell it is.

In their references to both football and classicism, Chie Fueki's paintings at Mary Boone reminded me of the James Wright stanza, "Therefore,/Their sons grow suicidally beautiful/At the beginning of October,/And gallop terribly against each other's bodies." However, what really sent me over the edge at Boone was the luminous Eric Freeman painting in the back. I really can't get enough of his work. Nothing revolutionary, but so what. Pure pleasure.

Across the street at DCKT is a fresh shot of perspective-bashing serious/comic art brought to us by castaneda/reiman. First of all, I love pallets. (Long story.) That's pallets, not palettes. That they were used as a homophonic pun in this show made me quite happy. It made me even happier when I noticed that the gallery had misspelled the word on their website. It might or might not have been intentional. This show gave me a sense of place and time with the same effectiveness as Charlotta Westergren's unforgettable fragrance and light installation at Bellwether in March.

So, OK. I did see one amazing show in Chelsea. It's the Zhang Huan at Max Lang. This nutbag genius treated me to one of the most fucked up and beautiful things I've ever seen in my life, and I've never forgiven him for it. This show of photographs, works on paper, sculpture and video is more of the same sharp, incisive excess. I feel nothing less than awe when I'm in front of Huan's work. This is the stuff. Suits of meat for all!

OK. So, let's end with a qualifier too. There were a number of shows in Chelsea that I haven't seen (Wendy White and CĂ©leste Boursier-Mougenot to name two.), but it's a bad indicator that I was bored out of my mind for so much of the time on Saturday. It might have been the allergy medicine that was pulling me down, but I don't think so. I'm hoping for a less Hoover-like month in October. Please, dear Lord. Please.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gone, Daddy, Gone.

Well. This is one way to get rid of art. Tear down the building. No more Swoon on Smith Street.



Via Oranje I came across this, the pool of Swoon sightings on flickr. Word.

Nothing Special

Nothing special. I mean that in a good way . . . in an Andy way. Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns, the underrated brother of the overrated Ken Burns, premiered tonight on PBS. It made me reach back to the photos I took at The Warhol in June.

Money quote from the Times today:
“As he worked on the film, Mr. Burns said, he became a fan of Warhol’s art, particularly his shadow and oxidation paintings. 'Every time I thought I was getting tired of Andy, I would go back and look at the art.'"

"Yeah," I thought. This is going to be ok. And it was. Dave Hickey was in the house reminding me that while most critics explain art, he's one of the few who actually gives a sense of it. And that opening with the chords from The Velvets drifting and driving underneath Laurie Anderson's voice. Oh, my. I mean, that's just love. Uphill we travelled from there.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Photo by Zoe Strauss

This was my party favor from Zoe Strauss Night at the Whitney. Could I be happier? I think not.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Photo by Zoe Strauss

To quote my favorite inner groove etching on a Clash record: "TEAR . . . DOWN . . . THE . . . WALLS. Zoe takes over the Whitney tonight. This should be all kinds of good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Beat On The Brat

Yeah. There's a couple million more art openings Thursday night, but if you actually want to have fun you should head down to Spinart at Loreley afterwards. Painter Adam Hurwitz curates this series of artists deejaying. Last time Nicole Eisenman jammed on the electro tip. Tonight Erik Parker brings the angled hammer of Krautrock and Prog. Stretch yer heads. Kick out the Xhol, motherfuckers. Live.

All That Glitters.

New post on my Creative Time Blog. Fischerspooner put such a hurtin' on me at the Art Parade I had to give them their own post. Gimme your hands.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Lights.

I've posted pics of the heart-holding Tribute In Light over on the Creative Time blog. Nothing is lost. Everything is gone.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Art Parade! Part A!

This is a double post. There were too many pics to post on one blog so the other half are over at my Creative Time Blog. Whip it. And whip it good.

Starting things off over here, HAA faves, The Art Corps

Friday, September 08, 2006

Well, now. That Was Fun.

The first two shows I saw last night turned out to be my faves.

My first stop was in Alphabet City where Little Cakes has opened it's new space. It was worth the wait. This vibrant installation of objects, and exquisite prints and drawings by Guillermina Baiguera and Julian Gatto opened a door I hadn't thought about for a long time. It felt like an olfactory memory. Think of bread baking. Think of really good bread baking and a jar full of sugar.

The first show I hit in Chelsea was Jennifer Dalton's at Winkleman Plus Ultra. Hell, yeah! Dalton wrestles the art world and we win. The viewer is confronted with the question "Would you rather be a loser or a pig?" The artist throws stones in just about every direction imagineable; artists, gallerists, collectors, critics, and pretty much anybody who walks into the gallery. And she has a good arm. (Jerry and Roberta. I love ya, but good luck sussing this one out.) This is fearless stuff.

On a musical note, before I hooked up with some friends I made my way through the crowds listening to Von's classic Satanic Blood Angel. It's perfect anti-clusterfuck music. No crowd can possibly be as pummeling as those blast beats. To quote Pat Benetar's nearly DADA-esque and completely idiotic lyric: Hell is for hell.

np: Deuter - Nada Himalaya

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss

I've been wanting to say how much I loved Bring The War Home at QED in LA and Elizabeth Dee in NYC. Killer shows on both coasts with one small difference that symbolically distinguishes LA from NY right now. I thought that the eve of the artgasm that will be Chelsea tomorrow night would be as good a time to talk about it as any.

Bring The War Home was an overwhelming, heart-lifting experience on both coasts. It was both a gentle attack and a vicious caress. It was a commentary on the ills and the thrills of the art world. Koyannisquatsi is what it is, but it also brings historic opportunity. The shows felt like a war in the Battle for Babylon.

From the moment I walked into QED I was confused. I knew that I liked everything I was seeing but who made it, and what was its price? Hell, did it have a price? Whatever. I joyfully settled into a state that the Amish refer to as "ferhootzed." There was eventually a pull to really find out what was going on, but before it appeared I realized that I was feeling something that I almost never feel in a gallery: innocence. Finally, when the innocence morphed into vulnerability I broke down and spoke to the woman behind the desk. What was going on here? Were things for sale? Were they free? Who made them? She pulled out a map and eventually a price list. She wasn't even sure what was for sale. Beautiful.

Press REPEAT on that last paragraph to reflect my experience at Elizabeth Dee save one minute, revealing detail. I mean that literally. At Elizabeth Dee there were tiny reference numbers tacked beside each piece. It brought the market into the room almost immediately. There was no delay. There was no time for innocence.

This brings me--admittedly, a little sideways--to my point about the difference between LA and NY right now. The most exciting thing in the NY art world is the market. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that there isn't amazing art being made in NY. There is. I'm saying that the most insane out-of-control thing about the scene here is the money. In LA it's the art.

Simply put: LA is on fire in a way that NY is not. Something's missing here, and it begins with how unlivable the city's becoming for young artists. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had in the last year with young artists who were thinking about moving to Philly or Baltimore or Chicago or Houston or Pittsburgh. Why work 50 hours a week at a day job here to scrape by with a small apartment and studio when you can live somewhere else, work 15-20 hours at a record shop and land a spacious studio and apartment. The problem of livability is not limited to the young though. I often wonder about how more time and space would free the hearts and hands of older artists living here. (And just for the record: When I say "older" I just mean "not younger.")

Again, don't get me wrong. I love the art scene here. I feel downright privileged to see as much excellent new art as I see every year. I'm not saying the art is crap or that NYC is in danger of being knocked from its lofty perch. That's prediction and I'll leave that dead game to the pros. I'm just saying that something's missing right now, and it was keenly felt when I visited Los Angeles. I fully expect Chelsea to have its swollen tongue down my throat tomorrow night, but in the back of that intoxicated moment I know I'm going to be thinking about what we've lost.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ain't That Close To Love?

When I went to see a friend dance in the NY Burlesque Festival on Friday night I didn't expect to find the most wickedly acute and cathartic bit of political performance art I'd experienced in a long time, but there it was in the form of one Bunny Love. There it was. There she was. There we were. America, in all our consumptive angry anti-glory. Budweiser, McDonald's, thirteen stripes, fifty stars, an appropriately placed Bush mask, and lots of exposure.

Bunny Love's use of David Bowie's Young Americans was the best harnessing of the song since it was the postscript to Lars von Trier's Dogville, and it was similar in it's caustic viewpoint. She captured all the anger and sadness in the song and--like von Trier--turned the amps up to 11 on both of those qualities. I spent the entire performance not knowing whether to laugh or cry, and probably did a little bit of both. And no, I'm not going to describe exactly what she did. There are about 18 government agencies that would be all over it. Let's just say that I've learned all kinds of new ways to unfurl my flag.

Bunny Love is the new American Hero. Her heart's been broken just like you have.